The time it was about You Deserve Each Other

Posted April 9, 2020 by Stacee in Interviews | 2 Comments

I went into You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle looking for a fun and sweet rom-com and I got just that.  It was easy to root for the characters and had such a perfect HEA.  I even woke up the day after finishing it an reread the last four chapters because I couldn’t stop thinking of the story.

It goes without saying that I couldn’t help myself from reaching out to Sarah and asking if she had time to do an interview.  Before we get to her answers, let’s check out the book!

Title: You Deserve Each Other
Author: Sarah Hogle
Pages: 368
Pub Date: April 7, 2020
Publisher: GP Putnam’s Sons
Find it: PRH | Indiebound | B&N | Amazon | Goodreads

When your nemesis also happens to be your fiancé, happily ever after becomes a lot more complicated in this wickedly funny, lovers-to-enemies-to-lovers romantic comedy debut.

Naomi Westfield has the perfect fiancé: Nicholas Rose holds doors open for her, remembers her restaurant orders, and comes from the kind of upstanding society family any bride would love to be a part of. They never fight. They’re preparing for their lavish wedding that’s three months away. And she is miserably and utterly sick of him.

Naomi wants out, but there’s a catch: whoever ends the engagement will have to foot the nonrefundable wedding bill. When Naomi discovers that Nicholas, too, has been feigning contentment, the two of them go head-to-head in a battle of pranks, sabotage, and all-out emotional warfare.

But with the countdown looming to the wedding that may or may not come to pass, Naomi finds her resolve slipping. Because now that they have nothing to lose, they’re finally being themselves—and having fun with the last person they expect: each other.

Sounds good, right?

1. Please give the elevator pitch for You Deserve Each Other.

You Deserve Each Other is a lovers-to-enemies-to-lovers romcom about an engaged couple who have been faking their Instagrammable bliss and initiate a game of chicken to get each other to call off the wedding, only to discover that buried under their fake-happiness and resentment is something like true love, after all.

2. Which came first: the plot line or the characters?

The characters. The plot was supposed to go in a different direction – I’d intended for Naomi to break up with Nicholas and for a different love interest to swoop in. The characters did not cooperate with this! At the very end of chapter three, I knew this was a Naomi and Nicholas story, not a Naomi-and-somebody-else story, so I had to throw my old plot out the window and help these two people work through their issues.

3. Why do you love Naomi and Nicholas and why should readers root for them?

I love them because they are both so soft on the inside even though they’ve been keeping their guards up, and as the book progresses they each learn that the person they’ve been shutting out is the person who is actually their perfect match. Readers should root for them because Naomi and Nicholas put in the work. They really do. Their relationship is not in a good place when Chapter 1 begins, and the happily ever after is hard-won, but they put in the work and they grow. I couldn’t imagine, looking back, shipping Naomi with any other character. Nicholas is clearly her lobster.

4. Did you have any weird topics that you googled?

I remember doing some research on drive-in movie theaters in Wisconsin, and what a dentist’s office would smell like. Also scenic wedding locations around the US. Oh! And villainous men, both real and fictional.

5. Without spoilers, which scene was your favorite to write?

Heated words are exchanged. Fruity Pebbles are spilled. A tree is fatally wounded.

Speed {ish} round:

1. You find out that you’re being published for the first time. Describe the next 5 minutes.

CHAOS. Happy, fully freaking out, is-this-real chaos. Running up and down the stairs on the phone with my agent. It had been an insane few days! My husband was on the couch and I yelled down to him about what was happening. He yelled back some surprised holy four-letter-words, to which I said other holy four-letter-words, and there was a lot of AHHHHHHHH going on. I couldn’t believe this was happening and I was going to be PUBLISHED. I still can’t believe it.

2. What three things would you take to a desert island?

I want to be practical and say a life raft, Swiss army knife, and a lighter, but I’m going to resist that and instead go with an enormous canopy bed with billowing white curtains, a chocolate fountain, and a laptop with everlasting battery.

3. You can only read one book for the rest of your life. What is it?

OH NO. What a cruel question! I’m going to go with A Court of Mist and Fury because I am trash for Feyre/Rhysand and that book is a spectacular, glittering slow-burn with feels and violence. Talk about an enemies-to-friends-to-lovers! My heart. <3 <3

4. Which book character would you want to hang out with?

A character from my book or any character in general? If it’s my book we’re talking about, I want to hang with Harold Rose, which I think would be a fascinating and horrible experience. But in general, I want to have a dramatic game of putt-putt with Howl Pendragon, get into a tiff over a small misunderstanding, and then become lifelong nemeses.

5. What is the one thing about publishing you wish someone would have told you?

The goalposts move. I’ve been waiting my whole life to be published and I thought publishing this book would make me feel happy and satisfied. To be honest, I haven’t really been able to just sit here and enjoy this amazing thing that’s happened to me because my anxious brain has been nonstop worrying all year about what to write next, and whether it’ll be good enough. There will always be another book to feel unsure about.

6. You wake up and discover you are Bella in Twilight. You know how it plays out. What do you do differently?

What would I do differently?

I chew over this question while stepping away from my computer to ponder it deeply. I’m Isabella Marie Swan. I live in Forks, Washington and I’m a teenager besotted with a vampire boy who once stared at me unblinkingly while I ate a whole plate of mushroom ravioli.

There’s too much I don’t remember and I need a refresher. Who am I? Who *is* Bella Swan? This will require a deep dive.

I go upstairs to my writing room and blow the cobwebs off a stack of old vampire books. Vampire Diaries. Twilight. Not House of Night because those books have very offensive material in them. There’s a piece of clear tape over each book in the Twilight saga with a price written in black marker. An expensive price. I’d once tried to sell them at a garage sale – but deep down, I didn’t want to sell them badly enough because my prices were jacked too high. They never sold and here they are, right when I need them. Kismet.

I smear the thick sludge of dust on the cover to reveal a shining red apple, and am transported back to teenagehood, reading this book for the first time. I remember laughter. Joy. Exhilaration. I flip through it.

The minutes pass by, becoming hours. Days. I am halfway through New Moon when I glance up and my baby has aged six months. She’s walking now? When did that happen?? I return to my research. The cover of Eclipse features a mysterious red ribbon, frayed, tumbling through black space. Whose ribbon? What does it mean? My life is Twilight now – I think I have three kids but I can’t be sure. There might be four. I could’ve had another one while that whole Volturi thing in Italy was happening.

I’m remembering.

Edward takes the engine out of Bella’s truck.

He bribes Alice with a new car to abduct Bella and babysit her so that she can’t be with her wolf friends.

Edward has a conversation with Jacob while Bella is sort of asleep in which they talk about Bella as though she is an object to be traded, along with this line: “I have considered it,” Edward answered quietly. “In some ways, you would be better suited for her than another human. Bella takes some looking after, and you’re strong enough that you could protect her from herself, and from everything that conspires against her.”

And then.

There’s this.

Page 336 of Eclipse. Hardback edition. $19.99. ($21.99 in Canada) Copyright 2007 by Stephenie Meyer. Now A Major Motion Picture. Jacob has just kissed an unwilling Bella. She started to say no and he DID IT ANYWAY. She punched him in the face and the act of punching his face broke her hand. HER HAND. BROKE IT.

What happened next? She went home and dug in her freezer for ice cubes to soothe her ACTUALLY BROKEN HAND. Her father asks what’s wrong and Jacob says, CHEERFULLY, that she broke it while punching him.

Her dad laughs.

L A U G H S.

No concern that his daughter’s hand is LITERALLY BROKEN or that she broke it because she PUNCHED THIS GUY, who obviously did something she didn’t want him to do. He is told that Jacob kissed her, which is why he was punched and WHAT DOES BELLA SR. SAY?

“Good for you, kid.”

I have grown snakes out of my head like Medusa. I want to turn all of these men to stone. Edward. Jacob. Bella Senior. The other ones who don’t really matter – I think one is named Mike. There is probably a Tyler somewhere.

Bella Senior never glances at his daughter’s hand, never expresses concern. He just flexes his cop voice as he tells Edward not to fight Jacob. Some growling happens. He doesn’t take her to the hospital and he doesn’t jab Jacob in the throat like he clearly deserves. (He does tell Bella, much later, that she should punch Jacob in the gut ‘next time’ but that is it.)

So. I’m Bella Swan.

What I do differently is that I LEARN KUNG FU. And I use it on EVERYONE. Even my dad. FIGHT ME, DAD. YOU NEED TO WORK ON YOUR CASUAL MISOGYNY. I roundhouse-kick everybody’s faces. I blackmail ten thousand rubies out of the Volturi with the threat of a tell-all in the Washington Post, and Angela and I take a fun road trip during which I meet a cute boy at a diner in Arkansas. His name is Luke and he has three brothers who are all going to get their own spin-offs. He is respectful of the speed limit when he drives, never talks down to me, and removes the engine from my car zero times. We fall passionately in love but break up three months later because of statistics. I grow up to become a wealthy apple orchard owner, the memory of Forks and its supernatural residents fading away until one day…

There he is.

He hasn’t aged a minute, and he looks so young now, standing on my porch. My world-wizened eyes can discern how eerily still he is, unreal, nonhuman, carved from marble. A man trapped in time, lusting for blood for all eternity. He takes a step toward me, twisting the hem of his shirt nervously. He smells like the possum he just drank, but a part of me, distant and young, remembers he knows how to play the piano. She sighs wistfully.

“Is that you?” I whisper.

A slow, hopeful smile spreads over his face. “Bella?”

I throw a pie at him. I am married to all of the Hemsworths, even the mom.


Sarah Hogle is a stay-at-home mom who spends her free time planning weird pranks. Her dream is to live in a falling-apart castle in a forest that is probably cursed. You Deserve Each Other is her debut novel.



Huge thanks to Sarah for taking the time! You Deserve Each Other is out now and the buy links are above.

Have you read You Deserve Each Other or do you plan to?

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2 responses to “The time it was about You Deserve Each Other

    • Stacee

      I love asking this question to authors and Sarah’s answer is one of my favorites!

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

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